In America, it’s standard to remove fish heads. They can make some people really squeamish! But in other parts of the world, eating fish head is totally normal. It is actually extremely good for you.
Remember, the head is just another part of the body. Eating fish head will also have these five awesome benefits.
It’s no secret that fish is a great source of protein. However, most people just eat filets. If you keep the head, you’ll have more meat to work with. This instantly equals out to more protein.
Compared to other meat sources, fish is extremely healthy. It’s low in saturated fat so it will increase your cholesterol. In fact, if you replace red meats with fish, you’ll instantly lower your risk for many chronic diseases.1
Benefits of eating fish head also include a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Again, this is simply because you are eating more meat. The entire fish is a rich source of this healthy fat.
Since your body can’t make omega-3, you’ll need to get it through food. It’s needed for healthy brain function and the prevention of mental decline. According to some studies, it may even manage depression and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Omega-3 fats will also keep your heart healthy. It can reduce high cholesterol and high blood pressure, two major risk factor for heart disease. The risk for other heart conditions – like stroke and abnormal heart beats – will also decrease.2
The brain and fat in a fish head are rich in vitamin A. Of course, the whole fish is jam-packed with this nutrient. But if you want even more, chow down on the head.
Vitamin A is important for your immunity. And since it’s a natural antioxidant, it can fight free radicals and oxidative stress. This means that your body will have an easy time fighting disease and sickness.
You also need vitamin A for healthy vision. Eating enough will slow down visual impairment, which often impacts older people. Specifically, it’ll prevent age-related macular degeneration, one of the most common causes of vision loss.3
The fat in a fish head is actually delicious. It has a fatty texture that’s comforting and tasty. However, unlike many unhealthy comfort foods, this one’s good for you.
Keeping the fish head will also enhance your recipe. The flavor will pop whether it’s in a soup or pasta. Plus, the meat from a fish head is more tender. It’s a great way to give your favorite dish an upgrade.
On a greater scale, eating fish head benefits the environment. It eliminates the need for extra processing, so there will be less pollution from factories. Whole fish, after all, do not need to be cut for mainstream consumption.
Industrial fish processing is also very wasteful. The scraps can contain up to 70 percent of the fish! But if the fish head is eaten, fewer scraps will be tossed out.4
If you’re not sure how to cook fish head, search the web. There are many recipes that only use the head. You can even turn it into a nutritious stock for soups and sauces.